COUNTRY/REGION: South Africa/Stellenbosch.
GRAPES: 100% Sauvignon Blanc.
Lively and herbaceous with crisp layers of fruit. Intense palate with tropical and green elements. A serious wine with a long future. Will reward careful cellaring for the next 5 years.
VINEYARDS: The grapes were selected from vineyards in Stellenbosch (False Bay), Durbanville and Darling. The 2017 vintage surprised us all after a very dry winter and growing season. The days were moderate with cool evenings, perfect for Sauvignon Blanc. The canopies were opened up early December to ensure enough sunlight in the bunch zone.
VINTAGE: Much like the 2016 vintage, 2017 was characterized by a dry winter and a dry growing season. Kleine Zalze had however planned for this and managed their vineyards carefully to ensure that they didn't experience any extreme water stress. They experienced a fairly persistent wind during the latter flowering period and the yields were lower than normal. The harvest started very early on the 11th of January and was expected to be a challenging vintage (similar to 2016). In spite of this, very moderate midsummer temperatures and cooler than normal night temperatures provided excellent ripening conditions.
WINEMAKING: The grapes were handpicked early in the morning and in some cases even during the night. We handle Sauvignon Blanc very reductively from the start with dry ice in the vineyard through to the fermentation vessel. The grapes were crushed as soon as it arrived (before 10am) with a CO2 blanket and given at least 12 hours skin contact. This was to extract all the beautiful flavours nestled in the skins. The juice was racked from the skins with gravity and settled for 24 hours. The clean juice was racked to the fermentation vessel where we inoculate with selected yeast strains and ferment very slow at 13 degrees Celsius. The wine spent 7 months on primary lees before being bottled with only a very coarse filtration.